Late blitz sees De La Salle over the line in dramatic fashion

Injury time points from Tom Gallagher and Mikey Cummins slipped De La Salle past St Flannans in yesterday's Harty Cup opener at a sunny Boherlahan.

Late blitz sees De La Salle over the line in dramatic fashion

By Tomás McCarthy

[team1]De La Salle College[/team1][score1]2-11[/score1][team2]St Flannans[/team2][score2]1-12[/score2][/score]

Injury time points from Tom Gallagher and Mikey Cummins slipped De La Salle past St Flannans in the Harty Cup opener at a sunny Boherlahan.

The sides were level on five occasions before wing back Gallagher split the uprights from a seventy metre free. His third point of the afternoon. Substitute Cummins clinched a valuable win for the Waterford school who enjoyed Harty success in 2007 and 2008.

"We used our get out of jail card," acknowledged manager Dermot Dooley.

Salle still have some work to do on their possession game but the result was all that mattered. "Winning the first round is very important in the Harty. Over the years, when we went on to have success, we've won the first round and won it ugly. We won it ugly today!"

Salle led by three at half time but a freak goal by Darren O'Brien on 34 minutes was a game changer. His point attempt from the corner flag looped over Mark Kilgannon and nestled in the top corner of the net. 0-6 from Clare minor Robin Mounsey left Flannans 1-11 to 2-6 in front entering the last quarter. Eleven second half wides and fourteen in total cost the 21 times winners however. They would only score once more.

Outstanding wing men Gallagher and Conor Ryan along with full back Darren Kenneally drove De La Salle in the right direction. Three in a row through Cormac Power, Gallagher and Mark Fitzgerald saw them retake the initiative. Fifteen-year-old Fitzgerald shot two points off the bench. Ashley Brohan levelled again before Salle's injury time heroics.

With the breeze in their favour, Dooley's side got off to a flyer. Power pointed inside sixty seconds and then turned provider in the third minute for Ballygunner club mate Gavin Corbett to find the far corner.

Six of the next seven scores belonged to Flannans as their forwards were in unerring form. Robin Mounsey's free on the quarter hour sent the team in white and blue ahead for the first time (0-6 to 1-2). It took 25 minutes for them to shoot a wide.

From the next play, the young men in maroon responded as Corbett's low drive bobbled under Flannans keeper Cian Broderick. Gallagher landed a monster point from his own 45 and Power converted a late free to establish a 2-4 to 0-7 advantage at the change of ends.

They recovered from that early second half setback to secure the two points in the dying embers. After exiting in the group stages last year, this victory puts Salle in the driving seat for the quarter finals. They will meet Midleton CBS next on November 7. "Midleton are the favourites to come out of our group. We have one leg in the door for the quarter finals as it stands because there's only three in the group but we want to make sure of it now."

Scorers for De La Salle College: G Corbett 2-0, T Gallagher (2fs), C Power (2fs) 0-3 each, M Fitzgerald 0-2, A Kirwan, C Ryan, M Cummins 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Flannans: R Mounsey 0-6 (3fs), D O'Brien 1-2, K Keane, C Galvin, C Hegarty, A Brohan 0-1 each.

De La Salle College: M Kilgannon (Ballygunner); S Harney (Ballygunner), D Kenneally (De La Salle), T Dalton (Ballygunner); T Gallagher (Ballygunner), C Wadding (Roanmore), C Ryan (Roanmore); H White (Roanmore), P Leavy (Ballygunner); A Kirwan (Mount Sion), K Mahony (Ballygunner), S Walsh (De La Salle); C Power (Ballygunner), A Gannon (De La Salle), G Corbett (Ballygunner).

Subs: M Fitzgerald (Passage) for Gannon (17), R Halloran (De La Salle) for Walsh (44), M Cummins (Passage) for White (60).

St Flannans: C Broderick (Clarecastle); E Guilfoyle (Clooney Quin), D Healy (Clarecastle), N Walsh (The Banner); S Danagher (Corofin), S Casey (Ballyea), T Butler (St Josephs); C Galvin (Clarecastle), C Hegarty (Inagh Kilnamona); J Finucane (Kilmayley), R Mounsey (Ruan), A Brohan (Ruan); D O'Brien (Eire Og), J Maguire (Kilmaley), K Keane (Corofin).

Subs: J Brack (Clarecastle) for Finucane (47), J Collins (Eire Og) for Keane (54).

Referee: J McCormack (Tipperary)

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